Monday, December 29, 2008

The Ultimate V-twin

Okay, so I'm now a twin owner and I love it but there's been a lot of great twins. What's your favourite?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day Races

Spent a great day getting sunburned at Wanganui watching the bike racing. The day started off with a great ride through Halcombe, Martin and the Turakina valley before joining the throngs heading for the Cemetery Circuit.

Watched some great racing and had a lot of fun trying to get some decent photos. Great to see the the Britten out on the track even if it was just idling around the course. Particularly enjoyed the motards and the classic side cars - plenty of action there. A great way to spend Boxing Day!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Early Xmas present

I've been looking at GPS units for a while now and initially wasn't going to go the whole Zumo hog due to the cost. I priced up other units and waterproof mounting options etc but then a Zumo came up for sale on Kiwi Biker at a good price - about the same as the other options + mounts that I'd been looking at. I couldn't pass it up and so here it is.

At the moment I'm using the handle bar mount which came with the unit and which is supposed to be on the left hand side but as my heated grips controller is there then they had to go on the right hand side. It's not in too bad a position and is not quite as "in your face" as it looks in the pictures - when riding you have to look down to see the screen. I still think that I'll end up with a different mount more centrally located to get it more out of the way.

I'm really looking forward to putting it to the test on a decent ride (next year's Southern Cross for one) and it should be great for rides like the Grand Challenge.

It's a hard life

26,000km's of hauling up the Connie and the front pads have had enough. Lately there's been a little noise coming from them and after a quick check I decided that it was time to change them. The job itself was a piece of cake and a quick potter up the road confirmed that yes they work. Must try to make the next set last a bit longer...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Night Ride

I hadn't planned on getting to tonight's Friday night ride as there was Xmas shopping to be done but in the end I managed to knock that out pretty quickly. After a quick feed I decided to get the Honda out and head off to see if I could catch up with everyone.

They had a one and a half hour head start and I had no idea where they were going so the chances of actually catching them were reasonably slim but I did know where they were intending on finishing up. As it was only just after 7:30pm, I figured that they would still be riding rather than parked up at the Ashhurst Cafe so I decided to hit the track, run through Balance and then the gorge before trying the Cafe.

I had a great ride over the track and through Balance but when I rolled into Ashhurst there was still no sign of them so I headed for town to check out a couple of other possible spots where they may have stopped instead. On the way into town I only saw one other bike and it was a certain green Kwaka heading home - nobody else in tow.

After a quick lap around town checking out a few watering holes I finally gave up and headed home. A nice little ride to wind up the week and probably the only chance I'll get to go out on the bike this side of Christmas.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wanganui Toy Run

I'm afraid to say it but it was another nice day today and although I was not sure that the Wanganui Toy run was on or not, I decided to head over and see for myself.

After pottering over on the Honda and topping up the tank, I headed to the racecourse to see what was happening. When I turned up there was probably only a dozen bikes there and I still wasn't sure if this meant that the ride was on or not. I quick word to a Ulyssian soon had that sorted out so I deposited my toy and grabbed a drink & Bar-bee lunch before quickly buying a badge before they all sold out.

After hanging around waiting for about an hour there was finally probably over 100 bikes and Santa led us through town on his trusty Beemer (he always seems to ride a BM??) and on out of town. At Turakina we turned inland more and headed on towards Marton. It's a great ride through here and Santa kept up quite a good pace - nice to see that he appreciates a corner or two.

Once in Marton the ride was due to stop for refreshments but I decided to carry on and came home via Halcombe and Mount Stewart. Another great ride to make a total of three for the weekend - it must be summer!

2008 Coast to Coast

Yesterday was the annual Coast to Coast run to raise money for the local rescue helicopter and for a nice change the weather decided to play ball guaranteeing a good turn-out.

Mark and I headed out to Himatangi at around 9 and joined up with a lot of bikers along the way. Parking up at Himatangi we soon ran into Brian, Horse and a few others while we registered and milled around waiting for a start. While registering a certain red Connie also turned up and parked next to me.

Leaving Himatangi we took the boring route up to Sanson and then into Fielding where we stopped so that Mark could top up the Bandit before heading on to Ashhurst, the Saddle and into Woodville for lunch. Along the straights past Colyton we had our first experience with the usual idiots that like to come out for the ride and have to pass everyone else regardless of any safety concerns.

Coming into Woodville was a very slow process as all the bikes had bunched up and were crawling - I even got stuck behind my old K6 Bandit, 2-up with a couple of mods since I traded it. It was here that I noticed that my temperature gauge was getting a fair bit higher than normal and I couldn't hear the fan (thought it was because of all the other bike noise). When I pointed it out to Mark he looked down and said that he could see that the fan was not turning. No sooner had he said that the high temp warning came up on the bike's screen. I quickly got out of the traffic, went up a side street and parked the bike with a fair bit of worry kicking in.

Once stopped I pulled the seat off and started looking for fuses, hoping that this would be the cause of my problems. I found the correct fuse but had a bit of trouble getting it out. Luckily the old man had popped down from Napier to check out the ride and he was able to pull it and confirm that the fuse was toast. We replaced it with one of the spares and hey presto the fan was back in action.

After this wee drama we grabbed our lunch and then snuck out of Woodville a bit early to stay clear of the main bunch of bikes. We had a fantastic ride over to the beach as the roads were dry and in better than normal condition. We passed a few slower riders and got to Akito before the big rush for cold drinks and a bit of a breather.

Not long after we stopped the rest of the bikes started rolling in and it was entertaining checking out all the different breeds (bikes & bikers) that turn up for the ride. There was even a picture of our bike's (parked up in the pouring rain) from the 2007 ride stuck to the shop window. One of the organisers mentioned that there was over 500 bikes so a pretty good effort and plenty of money raised for the helicopter.

Mark, Brian and I flagged the prize giving as we had to be back in Palmy and had a great ride back through Weber & Danniverke only stopping at Woodville to gas up the Connies before arriving home at around 5pm. A great day out riding and my 8th Coast to Coast badge to add to the collection.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Night Ride

After getting the VTR back yesterday it would have been rude not to do the Friday night ride - the first one in about three weeks!

Parking up at Ashhurst to wait for kick-off I had the chance to meet a few people I hadn't seen on the rides before and it wasn't long before quite a selection of bikes had arrived and the route was planned out.

We ended up heading through the gorge (a nice run with no traffic to hold us up), through Balance, out through Mangamire and back into Pahiatua for a drink. The weather was absolutely perfect and even the low sun was not too much of a problem.

Following the drinks break most people went their separate ways and I followed Sam (SV1000) back over the track and into Palmy. He set a nice comfortable pace and it was a really nice ride back into town. Great to have the Honda back and some great weather for riding!

Hope the weather stays nice for the Coast to Coast tomorrow...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

She's back!

Yep, all fixed up. Had to get a different screen as the previous Givi one was unavailable - hope the new one is as good as it was. Everything else looks good and I can't wait to go for a decent ride on her!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Motorcycle Wisdom

Ripped-off from Concours.ord where it was ripped-of from...

Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.
Life may begin at 30, but it doesn't get real interesting until about 60mph.

You start the game of life with a full pot of luck and an empty pot of experience. The object is to fill the pot of experience before you empty the pot of luck.

If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.
Midnight bugs taste just as bad as noon time bugs.
Saddlebags can never hold everything you want, but they they can hold everything you need.

It takes more love to share the saddle than it does to share the bed.
The only good view of a thunderstorm is in your rear view mirror.
Don't ride so late into the night that you sleep through the sunrise.
Sometimes it takes a whole tank of fuel before you can think straight.

Riding faster than everyone else only guarantees you will ride alone.
Never hesitate to ride past the last streetlight at the edge of town.
Never do less than 40 miles before breakfast.
One bike on the road is worth two in the garage.

Respect the person who has seen the dark side of motorcycling and lived.
Young riders pick a destination and go. Old riders pick a direction and go.
A good mechanic will let you watch without charging you for it.
Sometimes the fastest way to get there is to stop for the night.

Whatever it is, it's better to do it in the wind.
Two lane Blacktop isn't a highway; it's an attitude.
When you look down the road it seems never to end, but you better believe it does.
Winter is nature's way to tell you to polish.

Motorcycle boots are not comfortable for walking. That's why they are called "motorcycle Boots."
People are like motorcycles; each is customized differently.
Sometimes the best communication happens when you are on separate bikes.
Good coffee should be indistinguishable from 50 weight motor oil.

The best alarm clock is sunshine on chrome.
A friend is someone who'll get out of bed at 2:00AM to drive his pickup to the middle of nowhere to get you when you are broken down.
Catching a yellow-jacket in your shirt at 70mph can double your vocabulary.
If you want to get somewhere before sundown, you can't stop at every tavern.

There is something ugly about a new bike on a trailer.
Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don't. Some can't. Be careful.
Don't argue with an 18 wheeler, a bus or even a car.
Never be ashamed to unlearn an old habit.

A long ride can clear your mind, restore your faith and use up a lot of fuel.
If you can't get it going with bungee cords,wire and electrician's tape it's serious.
If you ride like there is no tomorrow, there won't be.
Bikes parked out front mean good chicken fried steak inside.

There are old riders.There are bold riders. There are no old bold riders.
Always replace the cheapest parts first.
You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.
Patience is the ability to keep your engine idling.

Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out the car window.
There are two types of people in this world; people who ride motorcycles and people who wish they could ride motorcycles.
Never try to race an old geezer; he may have one more gear than you.
Gray haired riders didn't get that way from pure luck.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Concours Recall

Just spotted the below link regarding a new recall for the Connie.  It refers to road debries etc building up around the rear brake pedal and interferring with the operation of the brake pedal.  Doesn't look like a major as there's not even a remedy yet - best check it out at some stage. 

Original Kneeslider article: 2008 Kawasaki ZG1400 Concours Recall - The Kneeslider

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Yep, it's that time of year so there's Toy runs to ride. Today was the Palmerston North one organised by the CDMTC - they also organised a very hot & sunny day.

I met up with a few of the usual Friday night ride crew and headed over to Fielding where the ride started from. We parked up, got badges and waited for the arrival of Santa on his Honda (Rudolph was riding pillion).

The ride was a simple one through to Halcombe, back in behind Fielding, across to Ashhurst and finally ending up at the Awapuni Hotel where toys were donated, sausages eaten and drinks drunk. The next one is the Wellington one tomorrow - don't know if I'll be doing it just yet but it looks like they should definitely have good weather for it.